In the heart of Seoul, the city that never ceases to artistically surprise, resides an illustrator with a flair for the translucent, the ghostly, the barely-there-but-still-somehow-fully-present. Seunghak Lee, a name resonant in the cavernous halls of illustration, has once again graced the world with an exquisite set of illustrations and character design, tastefully titled, “Translucent Man.”
At a glimpse, the transparency in these drawings might elicit chuckles from those acquainted with the less mature ghosts of Nintendo’s Luigi games. But, oh, the depth that lies beneath that translucent surface! “Translucent Man” isn’t just a Casper for the cultured; he’s a being with a personality as full and robust as a well-steeped cup of Korean tea.
Lee’s illustrations and character design have always tip-toed on the ethereal, but with “Translucent Man,” he has taken a plunge into an aesthetic that captures a whimsical, yet sophisticated presence. Imagine your reflection in a foggy mirror, now imagine that reflection winking back at you – that’s the essence of this work.
Each piece plays with textures and colors, ensuring that although the man is translucent, his character is not. Lee uses his skilled hand to create an image that is both ethereal and tangible, somehow solid in its intangibility. For graphic designers, it’s an inspiring piece, a glimpse into how lines and colors can transcend mere depiction to capture something ineffable.
The humor here is subtle, like the wry smile of an experienced graphic designer as they watch a beginner fumble with layers in Photoshop. It’s there in the character’s expressions, in the playfulness of the poses, in the delicate way the translucent effect reminds us of our own mortality – but in a cute way.
“Translucent Man” is a gentle poke in the ribs, a nudge that encourages you to see the deeper side of design and illustration. It’s also a nod to a time when ghosts were friendly, when see-through meant something mysterious, not just a setting on your smartphone camera.
In a world increasingly obsessed with the tangible and the overt, Seunghak Lee’s charcated design and illustrations remind us that what’s unseen can be just as real, if not more so, than what’s right in front of our eyes. In this set, Lee has not just drawn a translucent man; he has illustrated a transparent truth – that personality and essence cannot be hidden, even behind the most ghostly of exteriors.
It’s enough to make one ponder, in a minimalist sort of way, of course.
Character design samples
For more information make sure to check out Seunghak Lee’s profile on Behance or Instagram.